Attorney Fees Are a Means Test Deduction

11 May Attorney Fees Are a Means Test Deduction

Prospective Chapter 13 attorney fees are deductible from income for the Means Test.

You remember the Means Test, don’t you? It’s that nasty form for Above Median Income Debtors to determine if they might be forced into a mandatory five year Chapter 13 case.

Line 44 of the Chapter 7 Form B22A, and Line 49 of the Chapter 13 Form B22C, are incorrect. Each referenced Line’s text states a limit to prepetition priority debt, but the Bankruptcy Code has no such limit. In fact, it includes all priority debt – which includes postpetition attorney fees.

Previously I pointed out another error in Form B22A which relates to the marital adjustment. Be careful out there.

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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